This article was originally published here
J Grad Med Educ. 2022 Apr;14(2):224-228. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-21-00675.1. Published online April 14, 2022.
BACKGROUND: Studies of the virtual interview format are needed to inform medical residency program managers when planning future virtual interview seasons.
OBJECTIVE: In the present study, completed in 2021, we sought to assess candidates’ perspectives on the effectiveness, benefits, and barriers of virtual interviews, including factors that may impact fairness and ‘inclusion.
METHODS: Respondents applying to 7 residency programs and 2 clinical psychology programs at a Pacific Northwest academic medical center completed a post-interview survey.
RESULTS: A total of 565 of 1429 respondents (40%) responded to the survey. A large majority (83% to 96%) agreed that virtual interviews were effective in every area measured, with the exception of learning about institutional culture (352 of 565, 62%). Many also found information about social/living environments to be inadequate. Participants chose the advantages of virtual interviews more frequently than the disadvantages. Commonly selected benefits included cost savings, time efficiency, reduced travel burden, and reduced carbon footprint. Disadvantages included time zone differences, access to a proper maintenance setting, and reliable internet access. The majority of respondents (84%, 456 out of 542) wanted to retain a virtual interviewing component in the future. There were no significant disparities in outcomes based on gender, rural/suburban/urban location, race, or underrepresented minority status.
CONCLUSIONS: Virtual interviews were perceived as effective, more beneficial than burdensome, and broadly acceptable, with no disparities in these outcomes across included demographic characteristics.